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Re: Reading versus books on tape

This might have something to do with the power of spacial memory. Vision is primarilly organised spacially while hearing is temporal and pitch orientated (see also Kubovy and Valkenburg - Auditory and Visual Objects, 2001). I would argue that one could recall spacial positions of objects as well as temporal patterns in auditory objects like tunes or speech.

An interesting sidetrack to this might be that people tend to make extensive use of virtual objects in space in conversations. When they speak about a specific person, they assign it to a certain space by pointing to it. Other people would then use the same space in the conversation when referring to the person by pointing at it (see Kendon, Conducting Interaction: Patterns of Behaviour in Focused Encounters. 1996). This would indicate that information is also somehow spacially organised on a higher level (and consequently that audio material could also potential benefit from being spacially distributed).


On 6 Jul 2006, at 13:14, Scharine, Angelique (Civ,ARL/HRED) wrote:

Since we're sharing anecdotal points of view on this, I'd argue that it
depends on the type of material being "read", the learning style of the
"reader" and the amount of attention given (a level of processing
argument?) at any particular time. I can recall being totally engrossed
in a book-on-tape during long drives and commutes and I also know that
my mind wanders easily when I'm reading, so much so that I don't recall
what I've read. However, there are plenty of things that I must see to
understand and if it's difficult material, I definitely prefer the
visual version.

It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by
bolts of lightning. -Bill Watterson, comic strip artist (1958- ), in his
comic strip Calvin & Hobbes

Angelique Scharine PhD
Army Research Lab - HRED
APG, MD 21005-5425

(410) 278-5957 (landline)
298-5957 (dsn)
(410) 278-3587 (fax)

-----Original Message----- From: AUDITORY Research in Auditory Perception [mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Toth Laszlo Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 8:04 AM To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Re: Reading versus books on tape

On Thu, 6 Jul 2006, tony stockman wrote:

anecdotally I believe for myself at any rate, as a blind person and
having used braille since primary school, braille reading is more
effective for learning than listening to tape.

I think that quite many people (including me) performs a kind of visual
learning. For example, I can recall even after years how a certain piece
of information was positioned on the page of the book. Because of this,
I can hardly imagine how I could learn anything by listening to a tape
(I have never tried it, though). Sorry, this is only "anecdotal", but I
hope somebody here can name some real study on this.

Laszlo Toth
Hungarian Academy of Sciences *
Research Group on Artificial Intelligence * "Failure only begins
e-mail: tothl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * when you stop trying"
http://www.inf.u-szeged.hu/~tothl *